First Exams
1 vs 100 Beta Impressions
The game show genre has always been shaky in video games. Not only are you not actually competing for cash prizes — begging the question: why am I buying a vowel with fake money when I could be watching someone win a real car — but also there comes a problem when certain game show mechanics get in the way of game play. Saying “What is Liechtenstein?” is one thing, to spell it is another.
I have fond memories of playing the very first generation Who
Wants To Be A Millionaire? After five or six play through, it became more about whether you could remember the answer from when you saw it twenty minutes ago than actually knowing the answer out right.
1 vs 100 for Xbox Live attempts to fix all of this. You might not become a millionaire from playing, but if you’re lucky, and perhaps smart, you could win yourself some Microsoft Points and an XBLA game. It might seem petty in comparison to a new car, but considering you don’t have to put pants on to win, it’s not that bad.
The game is separated into two types. There’s a mode called “Extended Play” which features 37 questions in a single 30 minute round. These questions tend to be general knowledge. Many times it’s either you know it or you don’t. The wide range of topics guarantees everyone the occasional “Ha! I knew that!” moment. There’s also a “Live Show” once or twice a week which is the time you can win prizes.
In most game show games, “Extended Play” would be boring after a few rounds, but the game makes things interesting by pairing you up with thousands of other players. And you get to see just how many got the right answer, In fact, the more people that get a question that you got right, wrong, the more points you get. This makes getting a few really tough questions correct much more lucrative than getting a string of “What is Hannah Montana’s real name? questions.
The game furthers the competition by pairing you with four random strangers (or, if you’d like, friends.) I’ve played a few games where for some reason I wasn’t put into a group, and it surprised me just how much this changed the game. Without that direct connection, I found myself becoming bored and disinterested in the game. Seeing other people have a slight lead over you is oddly intense. It quickly becomes a rivalry, and getting a hard question correct often results in a cheer and dancing when it provides just enough of a boost to put you in first.
On most days at 11 EST, there is a special themed game. One features questions submitted by the community. There’s a Super Hard version which rarely saw less than half of the thirty-thousand players get a question right. While I can see why the game designers put in these features, they aren’t really that appealing after you’ve played them once or twice.
This brings up a major problem. It’s 3 AM and you want to play some 1 vs 100. Well, you can’t. The last five or ten years have been about making things available at all times of the day. Whether that be TV, movies, music, or video games. The idea that I have to schedule my life around the game. That might provide a sense of importance to play the game when it is on, but I often find myself opting to do other things rather than play.
Of course, the less I play, the less chance I have of being picked to play in the Live show. Since that’s the only time prizes are handed out, it becomes a vicious circle of “what’s the point?” Even when I played every night, I never got selected to be in the Mob or as the One. (Those are the groups that compete for prizes, everyone else plays in the “crowd.”) When tens of thousands of people are playing at once, it’s like winning the lottery. A lottery that will likely only net you enough to buy a few songs for Rock Band. Since this is the beta, they aren’t giving away prizes yet; I shudder to think how many people will play when they do. Much like most online games, there’s always someone who is better than you. Being reminded just adds to frustrating.
The prizes are paid for by ads. In Extended Play this happens every ten questions, but on Live play, it can get annoying as they happen every 15 minutes, every five questions, or every time the One losses. Sometimes these can happen back-to-back. However, I suppose it’s worth it. Not only do you have a chance to win something, but it’s extremely rare to see a question more than once.
Overall, 1 vs 100 is entertaining if you like game shows. It may be best served in small doses though. I find myself jumping in every now and then, but it’s not a must play. I like that Microsoft is thinking outside the box, and it’s a nice bullet point for selling Gold Memberships. It doesn’t, however, fix a major problem with game show video games: Yelling the right answer at the TV is a lot more fun than realizing that your public education failed you.

The game show genre has always been shaky in video games. Not only are you not actually competing for cash prizes — begging the question: why am I buying a vowel with fake money when I could be watching someone win a real car — but there also comes a problem when certain game show mechanics get in the way of game play. Saying “What is Liechtenstein?” is one thing, to spell it is another.

I have fond memories of playing the very first generation Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? After five or six play throughs, it became more about whether you could remember the answer from when you saw it twenty minutes ago than knowing it out right.

1 vs 100 for Xbox Live attempts to fix all of this. You might not become a millionaire from playing, but if you’re lucky, and perhaps smart, you could win yourself some Microsoft Points and an XBLA game. It might seem petty in comparison to a new car, but considering you don’t have to put pants on to win, it’s not that bad.

The game is separated into two types. There’s a mode called “Extended Play” which features 37 questions in a single 30 minute round.  There’s also a “Live Show” once or twice a week which is the time you can win prizes. These questions tend to be general knowledge. Many times it’s either you know it or you don’t. The wide range of topics guarantees everyone the occasional “Ha! I knew that!” moment.

In most game show games, “Extended Play” would be boring after a few rounds, but the game makes things interesting by pairing you up with thousands of other players. And you get to see just how many got the right answer, In fact, the more people that get a question that you got right, wrong, the more points you get. This makes getting a few tough questions correct much more lucrative than getting a string of “What is Hannah Montana’s real name?”” questions.

The game furthers the competition by pairing you with four random strangers (or, if you have them, friends.) I’ve played a few games where for some reason I wasn’t put into a group, and it surprised me just how much this changed the game. Without that direct connection, I found myself becoming bored and disinterested in the game. Seeing other people have a slight lead over you is oddly intense. It quickly becomes a rivalry, and getting a hard question correct often results in a cheer and dancing when it provides just enough of a boost to put you in first.

On most days at 11 EST, there is a special themed game. One features questions submitted by the community. There’s a Super Hard version which rarely sees less than half of the thirty-thousand players get a question right. While I can see why the game designers put in these features, they aren’t really that appealing after you’ve played them once or twice.

This brings up a major problem. It’s 3 AM and you want to play some 1 vs 100. Well, you can’t. The last five or ten years have been about making things available at all times of the day. Whether that be TV, movies, music, or video games. The idea that I have to schedule my life around the game is madening. That might provide a sense of importance to play the game when it is on, but I often find myself opting to do other things rather than play.

Of course, the less I play, the less chance I have of being picked to play in the Live show. Since that’s the only time prizes are handed out, it becomes a vicious circle of “what’s the point?” Even when I played every night, I never got selected to be in the Mob or as the One. (Those are the groups that compete for prizes, everyone else plays in the “crowd.”) When tens of thousands of people are playing at once, it’s like winning the lottery. A lottery that will likely only net you enough to buy a few songs for Rock Band. Since this is the beta, they aren’t giving away prizes yet; I shudder to think how many people will play when they do. Much like most online games, there’s always someone who is better than you. Being reminded just adds to frustrating.

The prizes are paid for by ads. In Extended Play this happens every ten questions, but on Live play, it can get annoying as they happen every 15 minutes, every five questions, or every time the One losses. Sometimes these can happen back-to-back. However, I suppose it’s worth it. Not only do you have a chance to win something, but it’s extremely rare to see a question more than once.

Overall, 1 vs 100 is entertaining if you like game shows. It may be best served in small doses though. I find myself jumping in every now and then, but it’s not a must play. I like that Microsoft is thinking outside the box, and it’s a nice bullet point for selling Gold Memberships. It doesn’t, however, fix a major problem with game show video games: Yelling the right answer at the TV is a lot more fun than realizing that your public education has failed you.

8 comments
millionaire
millionaire

Really wonderful blog. I love this . keep it up and do your best.

Czartim
Czartim

No prizes are being handed out during the beta, but either way, he got the question WRONG.

The Pit
The Pit

You win anything Phaethon?

deftangel
deftangel

UK Beta is tonight. I intend to win :D

Phaethon
Phaethon

Didn't know it was that rare to be the Mob. I got it my first play.

The Pit
The Pit

I really have to hook the Internet up to my X-Box 360! I'd totally be game for Online Game Shows. This sounds like it could be fun.